China News Brief
    May 01, 2024

    Miu Miu hair clip mania grips China’s shoppers; Chinese travelers go short-haul this Golden Week; Price war, China slowdown hit BYD.
    Stefanie Helen is seen wearing a Miu Miu logo hair clip, in Munich, Germany on April 16, 2024. Photo: Getty Images

    Miu Miu hair clip mania grips China’s shoppers#

    A frenzy  for Miu Miu hair clips has erupted in China. Bloggers on various social platforms have set themselves the goal of collecting multiple colors of the brand’s hair clips. Miu Miu’s Tmall flagship store shows nine colors of sheepskin material hair clips priced at 3,250 RMB ($500) are out of stock, while only black and red colors are available out of the 12 colors of patent leather material hair clips in the same price range. Additionally, resin hair clips priced at 5,400 RMB ($830) per pair, including blue, pink, and gray-green colors, are also sold out. Store personnel said that they did not know when the items would be replenished.

    Chinese travelers go short-haul this Golden Week#

    Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Taipei emerged  as the top five destinations for international travelers from China venturing abroad this Labor Day Golden Week holiday, online travel agency Ctrip’s latest data shows. Hong Kong saw a 51% YoY increase in inbound travel bookings, while Macau experienced a 26.5% rise. Popular attractions included Hong Kong Disneyland, the Hong Kong Palace Museum, and the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. Notably, visits to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Macau’s landmarks also surged. Additionally, outbound flight bookings from Hong Kong increased by 68%, with a strong trend of traveling north via high-speed rail.

    Price war, China slowdown hit BYD#

    BYD posted  its weakest quarterly profit growth since 2022 while its revenue growth slowed to the lowest level in nearly four years, hit by slowing EV demand and a bruising price war in the world’s largest auto market. First-quarter net profit was up 10.6% YoY at 4.57 billion RMB ($631.08 million) while revenue grew by 4% to 124.94 billion RMB ($19.22 billion), BYD said in a stock market filing. Despite selling over 300,000 battery-only cars, down from a record high, it faced challenges from a price war and slower EV demand in China, the world's largest car market. However, compared to Tesla, BYD’s performance appeared relatively stronger, as Tesla reported its first quarterly revenue decline since 2020. To counter the slowdown, BYD has cut prices on its latest models and aims to expand into new markets, despite facing resistance in the US and Europe.

    Beauty, health products lead Tmall brand boom#

    Tmall Global on Monday released  its Global Supernova Brand Rankings for the first quarter of 2024, showing a 92% increase in the number of new brands and a 179% increase in the total transaction volume of new brands. Beauty, health care, and trendy accessories emerged as rapidly growing categories, with South Korea, the US, Japan, Germany, and Australia being the top five countries with the most new brand entries. Tmall Global targets overseas brands entering China. It hosts over 46,000 brands from more than 90 countries and regions worldwide.

    Property, trade woes test China’s post-Covid rebound#

    China’s manufacturing and services sectors saw slower  expansion last month, hinting at a loss of momentum for the economy. While solid first-quarter GDP growth lessened the immediate need for stimulus, challenges persist. Manufacturing PMI dropped to 50.4, with new export orders growing slower and employment shrinking. Services also grew at a slower pace, with sectors like catering and property showing contraction. Analysts expect more stimulus, but foresee challenges from tepid external demand and trade barriers. Domestically, concerns linger over a property downturn and rising local government debt. Despite strong first-quarter growth, weaknesses in retail sales and industrial profits underline the difficulty of sparking broad demand revival. China's ambitious GDP target for 2024 further highlights the challenges ahead.

    Boucheron, Mandarin Oriental co-launch themed tea#

    Boucheron and Mandarin Oriental today co-launched  a themed afternoon tea at the latter’s hotels in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Available through July 31, the afternoon tea was jointly created by the culinary teams from the four Mandarin Oriental hotels in China, drawing inspiration from Boucheron’s Quatre series.

    Bally plays cupid with Wang Yuan-fronted capsule#

    Swiss luxury brand Bally launched  a collection for 520 Day featuring clothing, handbags, shoes, and accessories. Global brand ambassadors Wang Yuan and supermodel Chen Yu star in the accompanying campaign film, titled Heartbeat Waiting. The collection includes the Ellipse women’s handbag and Daryel couple sneakers, exudes romance with its color palette and design details.

    Tory Burch opens pet-inspired Shanghai pop-up#

    Tory Burch opened  a pop-up store featuring animal portraits by photographer Walter Schels, at Shanghai’s Kerry Center on April 24. Brand ambassadors Liu Wen, actors Ren Min and Lu Yuxiao, and singer Xu Ruoqiao attended the opening. The store, inspired by Tory and Humberto Leon’s Melrose Avenue concept store in Los Angeles, showcases cat portraits by Schels inside and outside. The store will stock the brand’s 2024 spring/summer collection and will remain open until the end of the year.

    Burberry’s slump fuels takeover speculation#

    Burberry’s declining  share price has caught the attention of potential takeover groups, with shares dropping by over 18% this year and nearly 56% over the past 12 months, despite a slight recovery on Thursday. The weakened British pound adds to its appeal as a relative bargain. Although Burberry’s market valuation stands at £4.1 billion ($5.62 billion), higher than other UK businesses like Asos and Boohoo Group, its luxury sector presence makes it attractive to luxury groups, sovereign wealth funds, and private equity firms. The recent Kering profit warning heightened speculation about Burberry’s vulnerability to takeover, emphasizing its unique position as the only major British brand operating independently. Despite being identified as a prime takeover target, Burberry has not commented on the speculation.

    Asia fuels Lanvin Group’s profits#

    Global fashion luxury conglomerate Lanvin Group announced  its full-year 2023 financial report. The Group’s brands include Lanvin, Wolford, Sergio Rossi, St. John, and Caruso, generated a total revenue of $481.38 million (426 million euros) in 2023, up 1% YoY; gross profit was $283.63 million (251 million euros), with the gross profit margin increasing to 59%, up nearly 3 percentage points from 2022. Revenue in Asia-Pacific climbed 8% YoY.